Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?
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  1. #1
    Member Cilogy's Avatar
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    Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    I'm very serious about getting an intra-matic as my first "big" watch purchase. I plan to use it as a daily wearer. I tried the 38mm on in-store and it looked perfect. I don't feel comfortable buying it pre-owned, so I really have two options right now:

    A - My local Tourneau has it for $845 with a 2 year store warranty + 3 year Hamilton warranty. This is obviously the higher price, especially with tax, but it's the better security option. I'm terrible at haggling with anyone, Tourneau or otherwise, so it would make no difference. I can wear it out of the store as well.

    B - Amazon/Jomashop has it for about $560 with a 2 year Jomashop warranty. It's healthier for my college-student budget, as it's nearly half the total price of the Tourneau option (plus no tax, free shipping), but the warranty leaves something to be desired. I will also have to deal with possible shipping damages (though that's never been a problem with my previous watch orders).

    It's sort of a dilemma for me right now, considering pricing and warranty. I welcome any helpful thoughts or comments. If anyone can speak from personal experience about either of these options, I'd also appreciate that.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    I'm an AD sorta guy and 38% is a big difference. I usually try and look at this as a "worst case scenario". The Tourneau warranty is pretty good and the Jomashop warranty is probably better than I think it is. The odds are that the watch will not break during either warranty period. But let's pretend the watch goes belly up at 18 months. Tourneau will get it fixed at no cost to you - total cost to you 904.00 (original purchase price). Had you bought it at JS them may well fix it free and properly so you are OK (total cost the 560.00) but -this is a worst case scenario remember - the can't (or won't) repair it to your satisfaction so you send it to SWATCH. They'll fix it but charge you in the vicinity of around 400.00, (total cost to you, 945.00).
    Assuming the disastrous scene I've laid out, JS will only cost you 41.00 more and there is a very good chance it will be less.
    My personal belief is that if it lasts 2 years w/o a problem it'll almost always last 5. so I don't put much of value on extended warranty's. But that's just me.

    In this case I'd gamble on JS as my 'exposure' would only be 41 dollars.
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  3. #3
    Member brrrdn's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    If I were you I'd buy it from Amazon or Joma. If you want to buy from an AD, why not give Topper a call. They're a forum sponsor and will ship.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    Quote Originally Posted by brrrdn View Post
    If I were you I'd buy it from Amazon or Joma. If you want to buy from an AD, why not give Topper a call. They're a forum sponsor and will ship.
    Exactly, there are AD's who will ship to you or even maybe local ones that will negotiate on the price for Hamilton. Topper is top notch. Go that route, the difference between what they can do vs Jomashop is going to be quite a bit lesser than Tourneau vs Joma.

  6. #5
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    Another option might be to call several Hamilton ADs in your area (or even nationally and have it shipped). My experience with Tourneau is that they seldom, if ever, will discount a watch. With another dealer you may find a happy median. Otherwise, I'd go Joma.

    Edit: Sorry for repeating what others have already said. I type slow, very slow.
    Last edited by Zeroedout; August 1st, 2014 at 18:58.

  7. #6
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    I'd personally go grey-market every time when the price difference is that significant. Yes, there's a chance you'd need the extended warranty, but it's a tiny chance, and the watch would have to fail in a spectacular and unprecedented way to need more than $400 of repairs.

    BUT, you're clearly more comfortable with buying from an AD, and peace-of-mind really can't have a dollar value. If you're not much for haggling, all you need to do is say, "This is what it costs from a popular grey-market online store with a two-year warranty. How close to that can you get?" Those two sentences would almost certainly close the price gap considerably. Remember that the AD is probably paying about 50% of the retail price of the watch -- ADs can offer significant discounts and still make good money, and they don't like to lose sales to savvy online shoppers.

  8. #7
    Member LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    I got mine for a good price from a forum sponsor, who is also an AD. PM me if you'd like the details.
    Cheers,
    Ben "LBD"

  9. #8
    Member Cilogy's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    Wow, thanks for all the advice folks. This is quite helpful, I think I will look into speaking with a forum sponsor or something like that first.

  10. #9
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    I bought a Hamilton Intra 38 last year from Jomashop (Black Friday sale - it was less than $500 so I couldn't resist) and had zero issues with both the transaction and watch.

    Shipping: Chances of the watches in this price range being damaged by shipping should be very low. All of the ones I've bought - Hammy, Victorinox, Kadloo, Chris Ward - come in sturdy manufacturers' boxes. Joma also wrapped the watch up in bubble wrap (plus it still had its blue sticky tape since it was new) before putting it in the box. And then the watch box was placed in a shipping box full of foam ties. You might get some dings on the outer watch box since they're usually made of cheap cardboard, but that's about it.

    A bigger risk going grey market is getting a repackaged watch - something that got returned and the seller just repacks to try and pawn off as new again. Going with a reputable store like Joma or Amazon (not an Amazon retailer, but directly from Amazon itself) heavily reduces this chance.

    Warranty: The way I look at AD versus Grey Market is like this:
    Is the savings from going grey market greater than potential repair costs/headache if something goes wrong? In the case of the Intra-matic, I would say "yes." Hamilton uses an ETA movement so there should be a number of local shops that can repair/service it. And the cost to fix any potential issues should be way less than $300 compared to going through an AD.
    dbakiva likes this.
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  11. #10
    Member fredrick's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Intra-matic: in store or online?

    Option B for me with that price swing. Beautiful watch!! Great choice to go with 38mm version. Perfect proportions.

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